“Welcome home,”
like a heavy blanket tossed
over shivering shoulders.
Familiar and foreign,
like a fading fragment of
a memory, warped through
an hourglass.

“Are you glad to be back?”
Words sung over
mountaintops and hidden behind
waterfalls and laced in Spanish
echoes and handwritten
notes with goodbyes
mingled with “stay.”

“How was it?”
But a single word could not
cup its hands around a child’s
rolling laughter, a sobbing
group of not-even-friends-yet
around a gray table, cracked
sandals that are still worn
over and over again, colors
enough to melt winter away.

“Are you adjusted back by now?”
No, if you mean I have
jumped without fear back into
the whirlwind of a life I paused
but that didn’t stop rolling film.
Yes, if you mean that I am
making peace with a permanently
broken heart, sowing memories
like dandelion seeds that take root,
turn      yellow,      and      then      dance      away.

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